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The Pete Plan blog

4 x 2k / 5r – The effect of fatigue

Posted by thepeteplan on March 24, 2011

I haven’t made a blog entry since the 10k on Monday because I haven’t done any erg training worth blogging about. Instead I have given myself a good reminder about the effect fatigue from unfamiliar forms of exercise can have.

After the 10k on Monday, because the weather was so nice, I decided to go for a short run as a cool down. I changed my shirt and set off on my first run for maybe 6 months. After about half a mile I realised that this was perhaps not the wisest plan straight after a hard 10k, not when my legs aren’t accustomed to running at the moment. On Tuesday I then did my weekly weight training session. The core lifts I do each week are cleans, dead lifts and bench press. I am currently doing these with roughly 50kg, 90kg and 70kg respectively. I decided to lengthen my session by doing some additional upper body work, and then went to the swimming pool to cool down. As it was empty I did about 20 minutes of lengths, which was good.

Then it came to Wednesday and time to attempt core session 2 for the week, the 4 x 2k. The DOMS were such that I could barely lift my arms high enough for the catch position, never mind row properly, and my legs were a little dulled too. But rather than take the sensible option and put the session off to today I attempted it anyway. I made rep 1 on target, finished rep 2 a long way off target, and didn’t begin rep 3.

I have decided that I would go down as a DNF on this session this week, but when it came to training today I just couldn’t bring myself to set that example to the rest of the group. If the coach DNFs a session then how can he expect noone else to do the same? The DOMS were a little better today (but still there), so I set myself a slower target and 3 main aims – make sure I row faster than the 5 x 2k / 90 sec rest session from last week (how hard can that be? One less rep and over 3 times the rest between); do each rep faster than the last; finish the session no matter what – DNF not an option! So I revised the starting target to be just under the 1:44.5 I had achieved on the 5 x 2k / 90r session last week.

4 x 2k / 5min rest:
6:57.3 / 1:44.3 / 27
6:55.2 / 1:43.8 / 28
6:53.4 / 1:43.3 / 29
6:44.2 / 1:41.0 / 30

8k = 27:30.0 / 1:43.1 / 28

It’s always amazing how much effect fatigue from non-familar forms of exercise can have. One of the biggest effects I find of muscular fatigue is that it makes you want to move slower, ie rate lower. Once you realise that then you know that if you force yourself to rate higher you will go faster, but if you try to go faster without rating higher your muscles just won’t take it. So by gradually rating higher through the set I was able to gradually increase the pace, and put in a reasonably quick last rep just to salvage an average pace for the set that is somewhere at least in the same ball park as the original target!

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One Response to “4 x 2k / 5r – The effect of fatigue”

  1. Ben Adcock said

    Thanks for posting Pete, makes interesting reading. It is so true about sessions where your body is not used to the movements involved and using muscle groups in slightly different ways. I remember playing badminton for the first time in years and being unable to move from the waist down (mainly adductors and hip flexors) from all the lunging…

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